You are a really fantastic writer. You should take it seriously. This stuff.... It's amazing.
Author's Response: Wow, thank you! I'm really flattered that you think so, and it means a lot to me to get such an encouraging review. :)
I'm sorry I'm not up to the lovely long reviews other people have given- I found this through the restricted section and think it is the most interesting characterisation of both Sirius and Regulus, as well as James. Its beautifully written, as well as avoiding all cliches- I particularly loved Sirius' defence of his family. And I think Ootp mentions Sirius had been drinking- so his alcoholism in response to a difficult situation is not Ooc at all.
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad you agree with my depiction of Sirius and alcoholism; a lot of people write that off as a fanon cliche, but I actually think it's one of the more believable ones, due to evidence for it in OotP, as you mentioned. Sirius was a great person, impossibly flawless and good-natured despite the way he was brought up in an abusive home, and to me I think alcoholism would be the remnant of that abuse. There has to be some sign that he's not entirely emotionally stable, and to me alcoholism makes the most sense, because I think his mother was also a raging alcoholc. Thanks again for the review, it was lovely and I hope you enjoy the rest. :)
I read this chapter a while ago, and I've been meaning to come back and review it. So here I am. First of all, I adore this story and usually say it's one of my favourites when asked.
This is probably because of your flawless characterisation and excellent dialogue. This is interesting, because we don't actually know much of Regulus anyway, but I truly believe you've captured him perfectly.
This quote from James “I know that they practice bloody Dark Arts and support a man who tortures and kills Muggles for a hobby. I know that you – you sleep on your stomach because the open wounds on your back are still fresh. I know that not one of them deserves your defence, but you defend them anyway because you love them in a way that they’re incapable of.” is really amazing.
Now, most people write Sirius as one who hates his family and will bad-mouth them at any opportunity. You've portrayed the complexities of his family life in a way that most writers couldn't comprehend. I like that you've written him drunk, because we get to see how he really feels.
The tension between James and Reg is great as well, and I love that they both agree about Sirius' drinking, but still find a way to argue. The humour in the 'drunk scene' is underpinned with the dark themes of the story, and I love that.
The only thing that caught my attention while reading this for the first time was that Adele just appeared out of nowhere - “I’ll come,” I opted, and let go of Adele’s hand reluctantly. I know it's totally irrelevant, but having a brief sentence about them meeting up would have improved this. Basically I'm being really picky because I struggle to find the flaws in this chapter.
Also, I'm not sure if you're British or American, but I think they'd call them 'jelly shots' rather than 'jell-o shots'. I might be wrong, but I always thought 'jell-o' was purely American. Again, this is an insignificant detail, but something to consider.
Now, the last few lines of this chapter make me really eager to read the next, so you've done that really well. I ask myself now: if I’m a genius, why didn’t I see the folly in my plan? I love that it's a reflection in present tense, which suggests this is Regulus looking back at his own life. I myself am trying to write something like this at the moment.
Overall, an excellent chapter that has me wanting to read the next. Which I shall do right now.
Author's Response: I... really?! O.O I'm like insanely flattered that this is one of your favorite stories. Speechless kind of. Ah, you're probably spot-on about the jelly shots. I'm pretty sure Jell-O is actually like an American brand come to think of it... XD I'm very much American, and if not for my beta that would have been more painfully obvious than it already is. Wow, that's awesome that you caught the present-tense insert at the end of the chapter. Indeed Regulus is looking back on his life, and this comes into play at the end of the story. Ooh, good luck with your current project. Well, you've inspired me to submit the next chapter. :D Thank you so much for the thoughtful review, I appreciate it madly.
Maddy! I’m finally back to read/review chapter two. :D
I’ll start, of course, with the beginning. I really love the opening line of this chapter as we again see Sirius through Regulus’ eyes. You show that Sirius is changing, and Regulus can tell, and you do that with just one opening line. It was a great way to start, my dear.
However, the first couple paragraphs were a little confusing, and I had to go back and read from the beginning again to understand. It started off at the party, but then it suddenly goes back to the dinner with the family. While I really like that you showed the dinner, the flow between the party and the dinner that took place prior to it could have been smoother.
I really like the dynamic you show during their meal. I can very much imagine that dinner at the Black house would be just like that; in fact, in one of my Regulus fics, Recipe For Disaster, there is a dinner scene with much the same dynamic. :D
I thought about opening my mouth, attempting conversation, but I likened it silently to firing the first accidental shot into the no-man’s land between two warring armies. Suicide.
I adore this simile, my dear. It embodies just the right feeling, and I think it’s especially great because it isn’t just a simile thrown in the description, but something Regulus actually, consciously compares. It is so perfect for the mood, too, and for the Blacks. I also liked that you made suicide its own sentence; that gave it a lot more power and worth.
Again, as I think I’ve said before, you do wonderfully well characterizing the Blacks. I simply adored the conversation about Sirius’ O.W.L.s, and you did everyone’s reactions flawlessly. :D
The words hung there, supported only by the latent tension between them, strung up like electric wires around the room.
[sigh] Beautiful. I love your similes, kid.
This party’s going to be ace.
:D I just really like the word ‘ace,’ and I love that you had Sirius use it. Lol.
A group of people surrounded him: James, talking to Lily Evans with the kind of intensity that told me he wouldn’t stop if the roof came crashing down; Remus Lupin, having a discussion with a group of serious looking Ravenclaws; everyone else, fixed on Sirius.
But where is Peter? I’m a bit disheartened that you didn’t at least mention him, even as one of the people watching/listening to Sirius. :(
The more miserable, torn, angry, rebellious he acted while no one was watching, the more charming and humorous he appeared in public.
You show a great paradox here. It’s a great connection between the harshness of his home life and how he acts among peers, and I love that it is the opposite to what one might have guessed, at least at first. This shows, though, that you really do have a great understanding of Sirius’ character. I’m guessing, too, that is alluding to the ‘duality’ in the chapter title, yes?
“Uh, Black? Hurry the hell up, I don’t have all night to watch you flirt with your girlfriend,” James snapped irritably. “No goodbye kiss or anything, my gag reflex is already starting to kick in.”
Hm. At first read, I thought this was rather uncharacteristic. However, as I read it again, I realized, it’s not at all. It is the perfect reaction for James to someone he doesn’t like, and I really like that you were showed this. Its not the typical, light-hearted, likable James often portrayed my fanfics. You remind us that he was not such a fantastic guy, but that he could be a bit rude and rather obnoxious at times. Thank you for that, dear; it really is refreshing to read something with such a clear understanding of not just some but all characters involved. You clearly know the various aspects of their personalities and they don’t come off one-dimensional. This is especially clear in the scene with Sirius after pulling him out of the room with that girl. In that instance, there is a different side to James, a caring side, and I really like that you showed the different aspects of him in the same chapter.
Now, at first I was a little skeptical of Sirius’ antics, particularly with all the women. Usually, that bothers me because it just doesn’t seem to me to be very Sirius-like, and there is almost never a good explanation. However, the fact that you give a reason – Sirius’ family problems – said a lot to me, and I decided that it was perfectly acceptable and believable for him to be acting as he does, given the circumstances.
Nothing like his brother. Not even close.
And that killed me.
Oh my, I love this. So short and simple, yet the meaning behind it and the hand it lends to Regulus’ characterization is so much deeper than that. I think you are doing a wonderful job with the relationship between those two, and it shows in instances such as this one. Also, I really like the duality between them and how it ties into the chapter title.
“Didn’t you get your O.W.L scores back yet?”
There should be another period after the ‘L,’ yeah?
I think you’re best strength is definitely characterization. As I said earlier in this review, and probably before, you really do have a knack for it, and it really shows. I also like your style; for the most part, it flows really well, and the dialogue seems to fit with the time and place of the story’s setting.
Lastly, I love the ending, and how you showed the beginning of Regulus’ Death Eater days. The reasons, especially coming form Bellatrix, were great. The hesitancy you showed in Reg was spot-on, I think, but so was the contemplation. I don’t think I’ve ever read such a perfect balance, and I truly, truly thought it was perfect. And, just like the beginning, the closing lines were absolutely epic. I … can’t even put my feelings into coherent words any further. It was such a mind-blowing ending, I can’t even believe it. This was another great chapter, my dear, and I’m so glad I finally read it. I can’t wait for more, I need to know what happens!
Author's Response: Oh, Nikki, you spoil the crizzap out of me with these incredible reviews! They make my life, in all seriousness they do. That transition in the beginning of the chapter is a little tricksy, isn't it... I think it's because I added in the dinner section way later, and didn't know quite where to fit it in. Dinner scene in Recipe for Disaster with similar dynamics, O RLY!? I'm so on it. I absolutely adore Black family dynamics, if you can't tell. ;) Ooh I never thought of duality as applying to Sirius's character specifically, but now that you mention it, it definitely does! Ah, yes, Sirius's womanizing. To the chagrin of most level-headed Sirius fans, I definitely see Sirius as a womanizer. I think it fits his personality to a tea, mostly due to the horrible relationship he had with his mother. It's a known fact that boys who don't have great relationships with their mums seek validation from other women, specifically romantic validation. I also see Sirius as too free-spirited to really ever be tied down to one girl for long, unless of course he really met the right one. Have we discussed this before? I feel like we might have. :D Well, in any case, the Sirius womanizer cliche is one fanon implement I think has some sensibility behind it. Sirius is probably my favorite character because he's deeply flawed and deeply courageous, moral in every way that matters but also arrogant and unforgivably careless. /endrabidfangirling O.O Wow, about the characterization, thank you. That's a good strength to have, so I'm very flattered you think I have it. Your in-depth review just made everything worth it... how will I ever thank you? :D
Normally I am very careful about what I read and I don't very often read Proffesor rated stories, but I decided to give this one a try becuase I simply loved your other story - the travel one. Also because I have a thing for the Blacks.
I really enjoyed this one so far. You did a great job with all the Blacks. But what I like most about this story and about the others you have written it is the way you write. You write in a way, so you simply just are there. You have good dialoges, are good are describing things.
Do you write non - fanfiction? Because I think you would be really good at that. I think you could be an auother.
I am looking forward to read more.
Author's Response: Thank you - I am flattered that you decided to overlook the Professor rating and give this story a chance. Most of it is minimally explicit (a few swear words here or there) except for chapter four, which is the reason I had to rate it Professors.
Thank you again, for the compliment about the way I write. More that with any other story, I paid special attention to wording and style in this one, so I am glad you noticed it. As for non-fiction, I have tried to write it, but I am not very good at it yet, and it doesn't come easily. I will keep trying until I get something good, though. :) Thank you, this review was very inspiring. Enjoy the future chapters!